Patient Resources

Pregnancy

First Trimester

During the first 3 months of pregnancy, or the first trimester, there are many changes happening to you. As your body adjusts to the growing baby, you may experience nausea, fatigue, backaches, mood swings, and stress. Just remember that these things are normal during pregnancy. Most of these discomforts will go away as your pregnancy progresses, so try not to worry about them. Just as each woman is different, so is each pregnancy. When you are tired, get some rest. If you feel stressed, try to find a way to relax. Accept that your normal routine is changing.

Visiting your doctor is very important during these early stages. Your doctor will perform several tests to check the health of both you and your baby. He/she will also be able to answer questions about any concerns or fears you might have, and he will tell you what you can do to make your pregnancy as easy as possible. You’ll need to know what types of exercises you can do, what you should eat for good nutrition, and what you might need to avoid during this time. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and listen to your doctor’s advice. This is an exciting time, and it is important to understand what you should expect during your pregnancy.

Second trimester

Most women find the 2nd trimester of pregnancy to be easier than the 1st trimester. By the 26th week, your baby will weigh almost 2 1/2 pounds and be about 9 inches long. With this growth comes the development of your baby’s features, including fingers, toes, eyelashes and eyebrows.

Morning sickness, fatigue, and many other things that might have bothered you during the first 3 months might disappear as your body adapts to the growing baby. Your abdomen will expand as you gain weight and the baby continues to grow. Before this trimester is over, you will feel your baby beginning to move. Most women feel movements before 22 completed weeks.

You should be gaining about 1/2 to 1 pound per week during the 2nd trimester. With this weight gain, you might notice that your posture has changed or that you are having backaches. During your visits your doctor will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat, see the baby’s development and determine the baby’s age. You might be given several kinds of tests at this time, including ultrasound, which allows the doctor to see your baby and possibly even determine your baby’s sex. Other testing (amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, alpha-fetoprotein screening) includes ways to determine if the baby is healthy or if you are at risk for any complications and need to be more closely monitored. These tests help to determine the type of care you will be receiving for the rest of your pregnancy.

Third Trimester

Your baby is still growing and moving, but now it has less room. You might not feel the kicks and movements as much as you did in the 2nd trimester. You will also notice that you may have to go to the bathroom more often or that you find it hard to breathe. This is because the baby is getting bigger and it is putting pressure on your organs. Don’t worry, your baby is fine and these problems will subside once you give birth.